Don’t Shirk Fiduciary Responsibility

Don’t Shirk Fiduciary Responsibility – Shift It


Offering a retirement plan to employees has several benefits for small business owners.

1.  Speaks volumes about how they value their employees 2.  Demonstrates their long-range vision 3.  Allows them to participate in the plan themselves
However, reticence to accept fiduciary liability has long been a significant barrier to more widespread small business employer adoption of retirement plans.

A fiduciary is legally and ethically bound to act prudently on behalf of retirement plan participants. Small business employers are automatically granted fiduciary status when they provide employers with a retirement plan, which means they must assume liability and either themselves execute or outsource many administrative tasks for the plan. Plan fiduciaries are tasked with knowing the rules and managing over 200+ fiduciary tasks and could even face legal and financial repercussions if they neglect to prudently oversee the plan. Examples of some of these duties include:

1.  Monitoring plan providers and ensuring fees are reasonable 2.  Maintaining the plan document 3.  Approving distributions and loans 4.  Monitoring employee eligibility and contributions

JULY’s Proven 3(16) Track Record

JULY can take on the responsibilities a 3(16) fiduciary must perform every year, which can consume your plan administrator’s time. We have years of experience serving as functional 3(16) fiduciaries through such innovative offerings as our Launch401k and Liberty401k plans. These customized, cost-effective, simple-to-operate plans lessen the fiduciary burden placed on small business owners. Recently-passed legislation took steps allowing small businesses to even further shield themselves from fiduciary responsibility.


The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act expands Americans’ access to retirement savings. It includes many provisions aimed at making it easier for small business employers to join multi-employer plans (MEPs), and pooled-employer plans (PEPs), for which a pooled plan provider (PPP) will serve as the designated 3(16) fiduciary.

Pooled Plan Providers (PPPs)

“Think of a PPP as a 3(16) plus,” Blake Willis, COO of JULY, says. While a small business owner’s fiduciary duty to their employees will never disappear entirely, a PPP shields them even further by serving as the top-level, named fiduciary for the plan participants. This finally shifts the real risk and administrative burden from employers – who lack time, industry-specific knowledge and resources – to the PPP.

JULY’s Fiduciary Promise

Small business owners/employers are naturally entrepreneurial spirits who relentlessly pursue their objectives. They are major drivers of job growth and spur innovation. However, the same risk-tolerant business approach that enables their companies to succeed is not necessarily transferrable when it comes to ensuring a high level of fiduciary care for their employees’ retirement plan. Here at JULY, one of core values calls us to conduct business with a ‘Servant’s Heart’. This relationship-centered approach to business means we will always act with integrity. Whatever our fiduciary capacity, JULY holds itself to an unimpeachable standard when it comes to handling our participants’ retirement security.

About JULY

JULY is a 401(k) services company specializing in hi-touch, tech-enabled retirement plan services. Our employees have served as plan experts to advisory firms, advisors, and employers in the small and micro 401(k) plan market for over 25 years. Over the last decade, our in-house software development team has built a host of proprietary technology solutions to streamline, automate, and simplify all facets of retirement planning to make processes rewarding and easy for our clients. For more information about JULY, visit our website at